El Niño phenomenon this year: storms, drought, floods...

  • Posted on 14/09/2023

A new El Niño episode will begin in the second half of 2023 and will continue until 2024, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN's specialized agency, announced on May 3. This natural phenomenon is characterized by a rise in the temperature of the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Peru, and results in a rise in the global temperature of the planet.

In the latest WMO bulletin, scientists estimate between 70 and 80% the probability that an El Niño episode will begin between July and October 2023. This natural anomaly occurs every three to seven years for an average duration of nine to twelve months. The beginning of the episode is generally in the spring then intensifies between October and December, to disappear during the winter. El Niño induces on average temperature increase of 0.1 or 0.2°C on the planetary scale. Coupled with global warming, a powerful El Niño could raise global temperatures by more than 1.5°C. 

El Niño phases induce significant droughts, particularly in northern Australia and Brazil, southern Africa, India, the Philippines and Indonesia. Biodiversity, ecosystems, but also crops suffer, which can lead to a scarcity of certain resources, such as rice. Finally, the ocean, at the forefront, is hard hit: the rise in aquatic temperatures leads to the death of plankton and therefore of the fish that depend on it for food.